I am so appreciative of all of you who log in to get your daily dose of what luscious wine selection to enjoy tonight, as the world of wine opens endless possibilities for adventure in the glass every day.
But, 2020 is making it hard for me to continue to keep my glass is half full (of wine) attitude. This time last year, I was ending an amazing harvest experience in the Douro Valley of Portugal, learning the process for making Port, stomping grapes, and making some wonderful new friends. I left there and spent a few fabulous days with my sister in Cali’s wine country before returning home to Hawaii.
Every second of the trip I was grateful for, even with a few travel delays and mix-ups. There is nothing I love more than seeing vineyards in harvest, experiencing the process first hand, then sharing that experience. I love travel, seeing new things, experiencing new foods and flavors, immersing myself in a new culture, even for just a few days.
2020 started with such hopes, extensive travel planned to new regions and beloved favorites, like toasting the launch of the new Phantom Creek Estates in the Okanagan Valley, previously scheduled to open last spring, a deep dive into the historic estates of Napa Valley, a visit to get an updated view of Willamette Valley, as the region continues to experience exponential growth, and half a dozen trips back to Dallas to share wine favorites and new finds on NBC.
Just days after returning from a quick March trip to Napa with Gary, tasting at Walt, Staglin, Quintessa, and Cliff Lede, including a dream night at Cliff Lede’s luxurious Poetry Inn, and an amazing time to connect with family and friends in the area, Hawaii went on lockdown. The state has been very strict throughout the past six months of dealing with COVID, keeping visitors quarantined, vacation rentals and hotels shutdown, beaches and parks closed, and many businesses finding new ways to work, mainly online.
The first month was stressful, the second, a little easier, the third a little lazier, and so on.
But, I am happy to be safe on an island with very few COVID cases, as Hawaiians generally want to care for each other and ourselves. We feel wearing a mask is a simple task to keep everyone safe.
It has been shocking to see so many states and fellow Americans not embracing this simple task. (Especially as it is essentially just an additional accessory to your ensemble, and who doesn’t love to accessorize!)
But, we moved forward, keeping the hope for a brighter tomorrow. Next, shocking racial injustice is displayed on camera. Next, pepper spray being used on peaceful protestors for a photo opp. Next, the worst hurricane season in decades. Next, wildfires…and wildfires…and wildfires. Next, the devastating loss of a hero for women of this country, the death of RBG.
The entire west coast is on fire, including the areas that feed our country with their crops and beloved wine regions that put American wine on the international map., Graciously, and thankfully, our neighbors to the north and the south are sending fire crews into our country to help. Yet, we have a government that wants to build walls to keep them out. A wall that, in reality, won’t keep anyone out. Three miles have been built along the Rio Grande in Texas by a contractor that just won a $2 billion bid from the government. The wall is already falling apart, leaving massive cracks in the foundation, taking the foundation down the river.
But, I continue to try to see the bright side. The elections are just over a month away. Please use your voice. Please take care of yourself and those you love. Please wear a mask. Please don’t set off a pyrotechnic show to announce the gender of your baby. Please love each other. Please drink the good stuff, and support the wineries you love. They need you now.